WHAT IS POCM
Philippine Outreach Centre Ministries is a non-profit organization that endeavours to make a lasting difference in the lives of the Filipino people in need. It is composed of four ministries: Children's Home, Prison Ministry, School and Churches.
While listening to a visiting missionary speak about her work in the Philippines, Christine Hailes Perillo a.k.a. Chrissy felt God call her to the Philippines to show the love of God to the Filipino people. Just four months later, in September 1983 with no training or preparation she headed to the Philippines to work in a small mission for 10 months.
Upon her arrival in the Philippines she was invited to speak in churches and the local jails. Being young, British and able to strum the guitar made it easy to attract crowds of people in the streets to listen. Before long, the love for the Filipino people gripped her heart, and God gave her a vision for an Outreach Centre; an organization that would reach out to provide a home for children in need (especially children of inmates), to inmates newly released from jail with nowhere to go and a church where everyone felt welcome.
After completing her first ten months, she returned to the to the UK, not to go back to her career as she had planned, but rather to share with all those who would listen the vision to start Philippine Outreach Centre Ministries Inc.
PHILIPPINE OUTREACH CENTRE CHILDREN'S HOME
WHO WE ARE
POCCH is a children's home caring for children who are abandoned, living in poverty where their parents are not capable of taking care of them, and/or their parents are in prison. We give them food, a loving home, education, and a hope for a better future.
There are currently two children’s homes housing four departments, the Boys Unit, Girls Unit, Baby Unit and Special Needs Unit (for children with special needs requiring 24 hour supervision) in which there are around 75 children.
These facilities are run by a wonderful team of POCCH Social Workers, House parents care givers and staff, led by Executive Director Monique Sagal (Chrissy's Daughter).
Children are able to stay in POCCH as long as they want to be there or until their parents are released and/or are financially stable sufficient enough to support them. Re-integration is encouraged when the want to return and the home environment is healthy and safe for the children.
Legally the children are only permitted to stay in the children’s homes until they are 18. If POCCH children want to continue their education, POCM offers them a home in one of our Halfway House facilities where they are able to enroll in college and be helped to adjust to independent living.
When Chrissy first started her prison ministry in 1983 she was very shocked to see that there were children staying in the jails simply because their parents were incarcerated and they had nowhere else to go. The Philippine jails (at the time) were nothing like the prisons that Chrissy was used to in the UK. There were no guards keeping watch inside the cell blocks. The inmates were locked inside and the guards kept watch at the gate. Visitors entered at their own risk, but then children stayed there at their own risk too. They were exposed to acts of homosexuality, orgies, drug taking, physical and sexual abuse.
The plight of the inmates’ children living on the outside was not much better. Upon their parents’ arrest many of these children were abandoned. They would turn to a neighbour or friend for help but often found abuse at the hands of those from whom they sought refuge. The kindest of neighbours or relatives would offer food in exchange of services such as washing clothes by hand, cleaning, ironing and the like. For most of these children there was no hope of going to school.
Chrissy endeavoured to offer these silent victims of crime a loving, safe, home where they could continue their education and have the hope of a promising future.
The doors at POCM were open to children of inmates needing a place of refuge in 1987 and later Philippine Outreach Centre Children’s Homes were established.
PHILIPPINE OUTREACH CENTRE PRISON MINISTRY
WHO WE ARE
POCPM is a team made up of ex-prisoners, church members and willing volunteers who visit four jails every week in our Region: 164 Prison (Olongapo District Jail), Iba Provincial Jail in Zambales, Pampanga Distrinct Jail, and Angeles District Jail.
The team offers moral support to the inmates and also offers other assistance when requested, such as following-up cases (inmates get lost in the system simply because they have no friends or relatives follow-up their cases), attending court hearings, appealing for court orders to attend family funerals or emergency medical care. Inmates are not provided with any toiletries or medication so the POCPM team try to offer assistance if possible. And by partnering with our friends in Integritas Healthcare
(a ministry team of medical doctors ) we are able to give proper medical help.
After her first visit to 164 jail in September 1983, Chrissy felt compassion in her heart for the inmates and went on to establish POCPM team.
In the Philippines, once a case is filed the accused is incarcerated in one of the local jails until their promulgation (pronouncement of judgment) after which they will be either released or transferred to one of a few prison facilities such as Muntinlupa (where there are a minimum of 17, 000 inmates) to complete their sentence. Unfortunately, due to the weakness of the judicial system and backlog of cases, trials usually take a minimum of 3 years and often as long as 6-10 years (the longest trail witnessed by the POCPM team being 22 years. This makes it particularly hard for inmates emotionally. It is the endeavour of the POCPM team to help the inmates better cope with their situations through the message of hope brought by the word of God through regular talks and bible studies. These give strength and encouragement to help them face their hardships, separation from loved ones and the severe overcrowding that takes place in many of the jails.
PHILIPPINE OUTREACH CENTRE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
WHO WE ARE
POCCA is a school that provides a FREE, private education from Kindergarten to Grade 10, not only for the kids of our Children’s Home but also for those in our community. The DepEd's (Department of Education) curriculum for the Philippines is Kto12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12). unfortunately our facility does not yet fulfill the legal requirements to accommodate grades 11 and 12. So, for now we only have Kindergarten to Grade 10.
In the 80’s there were many indigent families whose children had no chance of a good education nor hope of escaping the cycle of poverty that had gripped their families for generations. In order to at least give some of these children a hope of a good future, POCM had a vision of offering a private, Christian education free of charge. Starting in 1988 with 20 Kindergarten students most of whom were the children of ex-prisoners living in the Philippine Outreach Centre rehabilitation home facility, POCCA went on to include Elementary and High School levels.
POCCA still allows its students to study completely free and operates through the good will of kind donors
PHILIPPINE OUTREACH CHRISTIAN
WHO WE ARE
POCF is simply a church family with passion for the love of Jesus Christ, and to share that love to the people.
The vision in the beginning for POCM was originally to start a church, but the doors to start a prison ministry were the first to open. In the mid eighties, when POCPM would have inmates that would be released, Chrissy would invite them to attend the church ministry that she was a part of at that time, but unfortunately that church family had little experience with prison ministry and because of the culture and stigma at that time, they were afraid. The ex-prisoners could feel the fear that the people had, but they couldn't hide their past as they bore the gang related tattoos. While we understood the fear of the church members, we needed a church family where the inmates would feel welcome. Chrissy then understood the reason why the Lord included church pioneering as part of the original vision God gave her in 1984. The church services began in Chrissy's rented home in 1986 and that was the beginning of POCF.
Pastor Dondie Perillo (Chrissy's husband), being a pioneer at heart started 3 daughter churches and from there, those churches start their daughter churches as well. We now have 7 churches throughout the Northern Part of the Philippines; 2 in Subic, where the original church is. 2 in Bataan, 2 in Laguna and 1 in Pampanga. The main church in Bataan started in 1999, the main church in Laguna started in 2003, and the church in Pampanga started in 2008